Player grades: Raptors stay alive with Game 4 win over Joel Embiid, Sixers

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TORONTO–The Philadelphia 76ers entered Scotiabank Arena looking to sweep their first playoff series since 1991 when they won their first-round series 3-0. After an overtime thriller in Game 3 Toronto Raptors, Game 4 was a bit of a slugfest as both teams went at it exchanging body blows in a critical game.

With their season on the line, the Raptors played with intensity and a sense of urgency that the Sixers struggled to match at times. Toronto took a 12-point lead in the second quarter and they were able to sustain their lead even when Philadelphia threatened multiple times to take the lead. In the end, the Raptors kept their season alive with a 110-102 win and force this series back to Philadelphia for Game 5.

The Sixers were led by James Harden with 22 points and nine assists along with five rebounds, Joel Embiid had 21 points and eight rebounds, Tobias Harris had 15 and 11 rebounds, and Tyrese Maxey had 11 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Georges Niang had nine points before fouling out.

Here are the player grades following the tough loss:

James Harden: C+

With Embiid’s slow start, Harden picked up the slack a bit with a couple of triples to get himself going on offense. He did a great job of getting into the paint constantly and making sure his teammates got open looks. Every time he goes into the paint, Toronto sends a ton of defenders his way. At that point, it’s on him to make the right decision to either score or pass. With Embiid struggling, the Sixers needed Houston Harden to show up and he had a tough time doing so in this one. He was able to get to the free-throw line often, but he struggled mightily shooting the ball and that was a big factor in them losing this game.

Tyrese Maxey: C+

Maxey did not make a field goal until late in the second quarter as he had another slow start to this one on the offensive end. The good thing with him is he does such a good job of contributing in other areas so he was bringing it with his rebounding and distributing the basketball. Overall, he had a really tough time shooting the ball as Philadelphia as a whole could not find that rhythm in this one. The Raptors turned the game into their style and Philadelphia had a tough time responding.

Danny Green: C-

The Sixers were able to get Green an open look from deep to start the game as they drove into the paint and kicked it out to the veteran shooter who was locked and ready. He did end up knocking another one down so he did his job out there on the floor. He’s another one who had a tough time finding any type of offensive rhythm in this one.

Tobias Harris: B

Harris continues to be excellent on defense in these playoffs. Pascal Siakam is going to be seeing Harris in his nightmares as he has done a great job of moving his feet and staying in front of Siakam to challenge his shots. His offense in the first half too was so helpful to keep Philadelphia in the game. The only knock on him was the fouls in this one.

Joel Embiid: B-

The big fella got off to a tough start to this game as the Raptors again just sent waves of defenders at him to throw him off his game and the thumb injury didn’t help things either. He shot 0-for-5 in the first quarter and he looked a little slow with his decision-making. He got it going a bit in the second quarter when he made a few adjustments with how he attacked Toronto in the paint. Much like a majority of the players on this team, quick decisions are so important to what they do on offense and Embiid is no different. He committed some bad turnovers and he was shaking his hand all day.

Georges Niang: C

This was a tough Niang game on the defensive end. He was just a little too slow-moving his feet and missed a couple of assignments on that end. As always though, he was a threat on the offensive end which is his main purpose on this team. His defensive effort in this one was still just tough to watch.

Shake Milton: B-

Milton hopped off the bench in the first quarter and instantly provided some offense. He knocked down a catch-and-shoot triple and he then drove and finished off a tough floater in the paint. He needed a game like this one to get himself going again on the offensive end.

Paul Reed: C-

This was the ultimate Bball Paul experience. He had a couple of really nice moves on the offensive end that got him going a bit, but he also committed a bad foul and he got too eager on an offensive rebound opportunity and was called for basket interference.

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